I have a question....

  1. Has any of you ever heard of giving insulin in the deltoid muscle? The reason I ask is because I am working as a nurse tech at a nursing home and the nurse let me give a patient her insulin and when I went out of the room to find the nurse she said left or right deltoid.... I just graduated from school but we were always told to give insulin SQ in the abdomen, upper thighs, flabby part of the arms. Did I maybe misunderstand or miss something in school? Also, I have seen more than just this one nurse give it in the deltoid at 90 degrees with an insulin syringe.. Just wondering..
  2. Visit lisalpn profile page

    About lisalpn

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 32; Likes: 2
    E.R. nurse


  3. by   shygirl
    Maybe she was trying to trick you? To see if you KNEW it was suppose to be SQ only?
  4. by   Fgr8Out
    You're correct in the proper site and procedure for administering insulin. It's given SQ and never into the muscle, as it is better distributed via the SQ tissue. The sites you listed: abdomen, thighs and arms are the preferred sites, rotating so as to minimize long term tissue damage.

    If you're not comfortable asking the RN you work with, ask someone else; Pharmacy, or perhaps Diabetes Education (if you're so fortunate as to have such a specialized educational resource). You might suggest an inservice for your Unit to revisit the Procedures. Also, check your Policy and Procedure Manual and follow the protocol listed there.

    Good Luck!!


  5. by   oh-agnurse
    I was given a tetanus SC this past year, isn't that IM? so I thought.
  6. by   meownsmile
    One sure fire way to make sure you arent being led astray on matters like these is always refer to your drug book.
    If it is one thing ive learned you dont rely on someone else to tell you if something is to be given a certain way. If the Dr writes it that way thats one issue, but other than that when in doubt go to the pros. You always have the PDR or the Dr's written order to back you up.
    Originally posted by oh-agnurse
    I was given a tetanus SC this past year, isn't that IM? so I thought.
    Hey, I was given tetanus intradermally this year. But that's it's own entire thread! Hurts pretty bad, harsh to the tissue.

  8. by   slinkeecat
    Speaking as a bonifide IDDM chick..... I would never let anyone give me or my patient for that matter insulin in the muscle.... It does not absorb well and I would not get full benefit from the injection... Subcutaneous is the best way and even better if at least 1 to 2 inches away from navel in abdomen.... rotating sites...now that I have this handy dandy insulin pump I have no worries and feel fit as a fiddle and have not been so brittle. AHHHHHHHHH modern technology..... gotta love it!!!!
  9. by   CATHYW
    Yea Gods! This nurse may not have been trying to trick you, but if she is giving it at a 90 degree angle into the deltoid, she doesn't know what she is doing. You can give it SQ in the soft (flabby) part of the back of the upper arm, and thta is sometimes called a "delt" injection.
    Always do what your instructor said. You can learn from senior nurses, but sometimes they can learn from you, too!
  10. by   lisalpn
    Thanks to all of you who replied... I found out today that this is same nurse who was fired from more than one nursing home for stealing narcotics. From what I hear through the grapevine, the nurse herself doesn't know if her license is still good AND the best part of it all is the D.O.N. knows and has done nothing to verifiy this. I looked at the narcotics signoff book and the same nurse has numerous entries like these: void error, wasted (with no other nurse signature), stepped on, etc... And honest.... this is one from just last night....."wasted accidently popped out" and 2 hrs. later.....are you ready??? "accidently stepped on" Sure wouldn't want her as a nurse.....